Michael Connor
Since 2002
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America


The Week Ahead: Cross-Strait Edition


Ming Wong, Making Chinatown (II & III) (2012). On view as part of "Cross-Strait Relations" at Parsons.

A roundup of opportunities and goings-on from Rhizome's community.

Online

Right now: Reading Club proposes a text and an interpretive arena to 4 readers. These readers write together their reading of a text inside the text itself. 

Bubblebyte currently has two ongoing website takeovers (projects in which they introduce artworks into existing institutional websites). Through October 20, every few days, one moving image artwork from 16 international artists will be added to Art Licks Weekend website, slowly revealing a larger collaborative collage. Through November 10, Nuovo Nuovo Vecchio introduces work by 8 of the artists in this year's Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition into the website of Spike Island Gallery in the UK.


The Impossible Music of Black MIDI


The machine on which Conlon Nancarrow created his player piano rolls. Photo by Carol Law, 1977. Collection: C Amirkhanian.

In 1947, the composer Conlon Nancarrow—frustrated with human pianists and their limited ability to play his rhythmically complex music—purchased a device which allowed him to punch holes in player piano rolls. This technology allowed him to create incredibly complex musical compositions, unplayable by human hands, which later came to be widely recognized by electronic musicians as an important precursor to their work.

A similar interest in seemingly impossible music can be found today in a group of musicians who use MIDI files (which store musical notes and timings, not unlike player piano rolls) to create compositions that feature staggering numbers of notes. They're calling this kind of music "black MIDI," which basically means that when you look at the music in the form of standard notation, it looks like almost solid black:

 

Blackers take these MIDI files and run them through software such as Synesthesia, which is kind of an educational version of Guitar Hero for the piano, and bills itself as "piano for everyone." It's kind of brilliant to imagine a novice piano player looking for some online tutorials and stumbling across, say, this video of the song Bad Apple, which reportedly includes 8.49 million separate notes. 


Red Burns, 1925-2013


We were deeply saddened to learn this weekend of the passing of Red Burns. On Saturday, NYU's ITP department announced her passing with a statement. "After living several full lives, one of which we were a part of at ITP, she died peacefully at home surrounded by her children. Red lives on strongly in the thousands of lives that she redirected at ITP." 

We offer our deepest condolences to those in our community who were close to Burns. 


The Voluptuous Blinking Art of Teletext


With its blocky, low-res graphics and clunky interaction, the television-based information retrieval system known as teletext seems out of place in today's world of touchscreens and flatscreen TVs. But in an excellent blog post on the history of teletext art posted Friday, Goto80 (aka Anders Carlsson) pointed out that the medium is still very much in use in several European countries. In fact, the iPhone and iPad app for Swedish teletext was one of the most popular iTunes downloads in that country 2011. And as Carlson writes, among the latter-day fans of the medium are numerous artists, from JODI to the participants in the 2006 Microtel project that inspired the title of this article to the participants of the second annual International Teletext Art Festival (through September 15).


The Week Ahead: Analog Sunset (Down Under) Edition


Analog Sunset at Ludlow 38.

In 2009, I went to an amazing event at 38 Ludlow called Analog Sunset, which took place on the night that analog television was due to be turned off in the US forever, giving way to the digital broadcast future. Three artists going by the moniker Off the Record (Ethan Breckenridge, Liz Linden and Phil Vanderhyden) had piled up a stack of old TVs in the space. As the appointed hour approached, more and more urgent warnings began flashing at the bottom of the screen; the announcers on Univision grew particularly animated. And then, not at the same time, but—with true analog precision—one by one, over the course of several minutes, the televisions faded away to static. (Auspiciously, Liza Béar of Send/Receive was in attendance.)

Later this year, the analog sunset will hit Australia, as that country moves to solely digital broadcast. To mark the transition, Emma Ramsay and Alex White are organizing a series of events and broadcasts under the name Tele Visions. They're looking for new and existing works that engage with TV as a medium; the deadline is next week.

Now, without further ado, here is our weekly roundup of Events, Opportunities and Deadlines, culled from Rhizome Announce.